It is almost impossible to walk through our neighbourhood without setting eyes on lovers littered around our public space. They share gestures like holding hands, curling into each other, reassuring hugs and laughs at jokes that may not crack a smile if it were someone else telling it. If you look at their hands closely enough, you might spot chocolate or ice-cream or flowers.
We are social beings hence our need for companionship is absolutely normal. All around us, we are surrounded by islands of relationships that have become our getaway destination to help ease the torridness of everyday life.

Despite this seeming beautiful view that is overly portrayed on social media and in movies, a huge number of these relationships get submerged under the raging tides of life and reality. This leads to hurts and heartbreaks, and then to the tedious path called healing.

As believers, it is true we have our standards as to what a relationship should entail but we are not exempted from this trend. We also have our fair share of failed relationships that didn’t blossom into the maturity called marriage. This is nothing to clothe in thick darkness because as Christians, we are real people, living in a real world and having real experiences. The goal is to ultimately highlight some reasons for this occurrence and hopefully it guides our future choices and fortifies our relationship with God.

Speaking with Caitlin Nunez, a believer based in London and founder of Kingdom Ambassadors on this subject matter, we reached some profound conclusions. She established that a huge determinant on the success or failure of a godly relationship is the motive behind it. If the raison d’ etre which propels our actions is flawed, then the relationship is bound to fail. She puts it so plainly;

“..obviously a lot of people want to find a spouse but I think if it’s a fruit of desperation in your heart and you are not being satisfied with God and the season that He has you in and you don’t feel led by the spirit of God to do it but it is more so a matter of your flesh raving because you feel lonely or you feel tempted or whatever the case may be then I would say you should probably stay away from that...”

As we know it, the world we live in right now is one that is sexually pervasive. From the advertisement on the television to the unsolicited pop ups on our internet enabled devices, we face being constantly pressured into normalizing sex. As Christians, we have a standard to keep the bed undefiled until vows are exchanged and a union before God is initiated. It is not a tradition of the kingdom to cross sexual boundaries before the marriage is instituted. By sexual boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed, this may mean but not limited to sexual requests, sexual pressures or even sexual activities. We owe a duty to be ambassadors of Christ on earth and lead a falling world into redemption.

 Caitlin Nunez and I

Every relationship has its stages. As believers, we should be mindful and spiritually aware enough not to allow the excitement of butterflies disrupt this process. From being acquaintances to being friends, then to dating and then courtship, and finally to marriage, this gives a solid base to every relationship that cautiously plan to succeed. For there are things only time can put together. By not rushing time and also not cheating on the process, we give our relationship the strength it requires to succeed. Investing time in knowing your person of interest gives you the opportunity to ascertain if their intentions are genuine, how matured they are, if they are emotionally intelligent, their thought process and views toward issues, what their perception of an ideal family is and if it matches yours, their core principles and beliefs, if they are honest and kind, if they have a heart for God and finally, it gives seamless clarity to your decision of choosing a lifetime partner.

Referencing 1Cor 7:34, Caitlin Nunez enjoins us to delight in our singlehood while we offer our undivided devotion to God. She emphasizes;

“As single people, we can get so caught up in all these practical things that we need to be learning and doing so that we are a good wife or good husband. We get so caught up with just the pursuit of marriage rather the pursuit of holiness and the pursuit of God himself... I always say to people that the quality of your marriage is not going to exceed the quality of who you are as a person. It is two people coming together, it is not just this fairy institution that’s all of a sudden going to make you patient and kind and sacrificial...It is important that we work on building ourselves up into who God has called us to be as single people because ultimately, your spouse is going to be the primary of the fruit of your relationship with the Lord.”

She further stated, that singles in their pursuit of purpose and pursuit of skill and resourcefulness, shouldn’t “neglect the character building process because when you are having a conflict with your spouse your business is not going to matter. The shape of your eyes is not going to matter. It is going to be whether or not you are patient. It is going to be whether or not you have self control. Whether or not you can articulate your emotions in a godly way. These are the things that are going to be key to sustaining a godly marriage. So work on those things, make sure that you do those things with a desire to honour God and I am sure that those things will carry on into your marriage and make it fruitful.”

Although there are numerous reasons that could lead to the failure of a relationship, and the factors are boundless, for believers who are in Christ, by following the word of God (our map) and fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit (our compass) as well as these guiding principles, we are sure of having a lasting relationship that translates into a blissful marriage.